Not all pick-ups are breaking news stories. Collin Mchugh is a name that would escape even the most adept baseball minds, but he has been spotted holding down the eighth spot on the prospective Houston Astros‘ starting rotation.
Mchugh does not boast a positive resume. His minors numbers are very good, having a career 37-28 record with a 3.34 ERA in 638.2 innings pitched. That’s a hefty sample size.
And yet at the MLB level, he is 0-8 with an 8.94 ERA. But perhaps the most telling stat is only having pitched 47.1 innings.
Let’s do some comparisons. Mchugh’s minor league statistics are superior to every other young starter in the Astros starting rotation — Jarred Cosart, Brett Oberholtzer, Brad Peacock and Paul Clemens. All four of those now somewhat established MLB talents had less success in the minors than Mchugh.
Obviously, that means nothing at all. But perhaps what Mchugh needs is an opportunity to get some innings under his belt. It took Peacock a good 40+ innings to get his form. Oberholtzer was fairly ineffective until he got inserted into the starting rotation.
Mchugh has talent but the key becomes finding someone who can unlock his talent at the professional level. Some people just don’t perform well in the majors and he may be one of those people, but again, the situation for the Astros is clear — get as many people out there for team “auditions” as possible. He could become a star turned.
The coaching staff of the Astros is geared towards developing young pitchers and with Mchugh only being 26 years old, he still has plenty of time to grow.